16 News Stories You Missed This Week in Hoboken + Jersey City

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Welcome to your weekly news roundup, where you catch up on all those headlines you were too busy to read this week. Summer plows on and so does we keep spilling the tea: with stories concerning the Mile Square police chief’s contract to upcoming Jersey City Pride celebrations to the Hoboken Council greenlighting a public pool and an update from the Hoboken School District on reopening plans, there’s plenty that went down this week.  Keep reading for all the headlines you missed this week in Hoboken and Jersey City:

Hoboken Council Gives Go-Ahead for Hotel and Public Pool

hoboken pool redevelopment jefferson street

In an 8-1 vote on Wednesday, the Hoboken Council voted to approve a massive redevelopment project in the Mile Square’s western end. The agreement calls for a new hotel, apartments, and retail space, to be located between 13th, 14th, Jefferson, and Madison Streets, as well as the developer’s—Pegasus Partners—promise to put $3 million toward a community center and Hoboken’s first-ever community pool.

With summer’s definitely not getting any cooler, residents have been pushing for a public pool for years, especially after the YMCA pool shuttered years back. And residents may get their wish, but likely not anytime soon. The biggest piece of the redevelopment puzzle is a massive complex that includes a 16-story, 281-room hotel, with a rooftop restaurant and lounge. It also has 357 apartments and 24,526-square feet of retail space split between four storefronts.

New Jobs Added to Hoboken Girl’s Job Board Platform

hoboken girl job board

For those of you looking for work in this economy, Hoboken Girl has streamlined the process for you with the launch of a new job board resource. New jobs and resume resources are added every day, so check back frequently. Our job board is a space for all of our readers and business owners to get all the latest local jobs listings as well as feature their candidate profiles/resumes — complete with jobs available by businesses in NJ, NY, and of course — across Hudson County. Applying to any and all jobs is free of charge, and there are also opportunities to sponsor/feature your resume on the site. Click here to apply.

New Jersey Coronavirus Transmission Rate Highest in 3 Months

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Governor Phil Murphy made a disturbing declaration at his COVID briefing in Trenton on Friday. “Look, the numbers are setting off alarms that we take very seriously,” the governor said. “We may still be among the leaders in having lower case numbers and daily positivity rates, but we are standing in a very dangerous place. The alarms are going off.”

The state’s rate of transmission is  1.35, above the benchmark of 1. The last time it was that high was April 7th over 100 days ago, when hospitalizations were at their peak. The governor attributed the increase to a rise in indoor house parties and other events where people don’t follow mask or social distance rules. He said the rate is expected to climb and put residents “on notice.”

Also this week, Governor Murphy announced 34 states, in addition to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, where people visiting New Jersey or returning home are asked to quarantine for 14 days.

Small Business Rental Assistance Program Launches August 10th

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Small businesses in Bayonne, Hoboken, and Jersey City will soon be able to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to assist with lease costs under the Small Business Lease – Emergency Assistance Grant Program (SBL-EAGP) announced by Governor Phil Murphy. The program will be managed by the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA), and financed with federal CARES act funding.

The program is specifically targeted to: tenants leasing commercial space in mixed-use buildings; those leasing space in commercial buildings; and businesses leasing space to operate a storefront.

Businesses with 5,000 square feet of leased space or less that meet standard debarment and legal qualifications can apply online starting August 10th. Funds will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. $6 million in federal CARES Act funding will be allocated for this program.

Hoboken Public Schools Send Out Newest Updates to Reopening Plans

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On July 29th, Hoboken Public Schools released a letter to Hoboken parents:

Dear Hoboken Public School District Parents and Guardians,

After months of intense planning, the Hoboken Public School District is proud to share our plans for the reopening of school on September 8, 2020. At this time, we are offering families a choice to select a Full Day Traditional Onsite Learning Model (Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.). This model employs stringent health and safety protocols both inside and outside of our classrooms. Families who are not comfortable sending their child(ren) back to school, may opt for a Full Day Remote Learning Model. We heard your input and feedback and created an improved model with added features. 

Remote Learning option: CLICK HERE

In-Person option: CLICK HERE

A response to what each family will choose for their children is due by August 7th.

Click here for more info on what reopening plans mean for each school and grade.

Jersey City Cancels 2020 Pride Festival, Plans Smaller + Virtual Events

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In an unfortunate turn of events, the large scale Jersey City LGBTQ+ Pride Festival slated for August 22nd has been cancelled but never fear, smaller events are on the horizon. The festival’s cancellation was announced on Facebook, with a message reading, in part:

After consulting with both City and State officials and studying the reopening plans for both New Jersey and New York it has become apparent that we will not be able to proceed with the large-scale Jersey City LGBTQ+ Pride Festival event on August 22nd. 
We will however be working with local organizations, artists and event producers to provide Pride virtual events throughout the summer… The mission of the Jersey City LGBTQ+ Pride Festival is to build community and in this spirit we will be working with businesses and organizations that have supported us to ensure that they are able to get back on their feet. Please check the Jersey City LGBTQ+ Festival website events tab for updates on JC Pride events.
Remember that while the large festival is an expression of our pride as a community, pride is something much greater than a day or a month. We as LGBTQ+ people have fought long and hard to get to where we are today and pride is an emotion that lives within us and can never be taken away.
The first, smaller event of Pride was a Drag Queen Story Hour with local fave Harmonica Sunbeam on August 1st. And there are plenty more events, including a virtual Pride Night and Drag Bingo, set for this month. It’s time to show your Pride, Jersey!

Hoboken Council Unanimously Approves Chief Ferrante’s 3-Year Contract

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Weeks of contention came to a close on Wednesday evening, when the Hoboken Council voted to unanimously approve Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante’s three-year contract. Under the new contract, Ferrante will make $211,000 by 2022.

This is quite a turn of events after earlier in July the Council approved a shorter contract for the police chief that would last until 2021 instead of 2022. That contract also included a cut in his total vacation days from 30 to 25. It was the slew of backlash over the contract that prompted Hoboken City Council to reconsider the terms.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla was vocal is his discontent over the decision to renegotiate the chief’s contract in early July. This week, he released a statement after the Council’s vote. “I’m thrilled that Hoboken will now have Chief Ferrante at the helm of the Hoboken Police Department for a full three years thanks to the newly adopted contract. Under his leadership, the police department has taken major steps forward to keep Hoboken safe and increase the quality of life for all of our residents, and I have no doubt this progress will continue in the years to come,” the statement read. “I thank the Council for the unanimous support for Chief Ferrante and the Hoboken Police Department.”

Christ Hospital OB-GYN Department Shuttered

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CarePoint officials announced the closure of Christ Hospital’s OB-GYN Department, which officially stopped operating on July 31st. According to tapinto.net, seven staff members have been moved to the Hoboken University Medical Center, 16 have been reassigned, and 17 employees have been laid off. So what’s behind the closure? Low patient counts and easy access to Hoboken University Medical Center, officials say.

This announcement is the latest wrinkle in the ongoing saga that is CarePoint health and its battle with Secaucus based Hudson Regional Hospital (HRH). HRH spokesman Ron Simoncini said that this could be a warning sign that Christ Hospital will, in fact, close.

Jersey City Natives Achieve D1 Hoop Dreams

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In a story of perseverance, two Jersey City natives achieved a remarkable feat: signing on to play Division 1 basketball, The Jersey Journal reported. La-Quiem Walker is the first Lincoln High School graduate to earn a Division 1 basketball scholarship since 1979. He signed with the University of Tennessee Martin this spring. Isiah Dasher, a Ferris graduate, became the first Bulldogs alum to receive a D1 scholarship since 2005. He will play at the University of Portland.

Both players’ journeys to D1 included a time spent playing at junior college, Dasher at State College of Florida and Walker at Kaskaskia College in Illinois.

“We’re setting an example and I love it,” Walker told The Jersey Journal. “We’re childhood friends really putting on for the city. And there’s a lot more others {like us} in other sports. I like this for my city, doing the right thing and bringing a positive message to the city.”

“We’re inner city kids and I think it’s a big thing for inner city kids,” Dasher said. “I just want people to believe in their dreams and to keep pushing through.”

Something tells us, this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing about these young stars.

Two Coffee Shops Opening Within Block of Each Other in Downtown Hoboken

gregory coffee hoboken

Gregory’s Coffee and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are headed to downtown Hoboken this year, and within a block of each other! The two chains are the latest addition to the Mile Square’s caffeine scene. Gregory’s touts 32 branches on the East Coast. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf? Over 300 locations in the United States alone! So when you’re downtown [think River Street] come check out both menus and grab your next cup of joe!

Hoboken Girl Team Donates Formalwear to Hoboken Housing Authority

Even Coronavirus couldn’t stop the Hoboken Girl team, led by our amazing volunteer coordinators, Jordan and Joelle, from making a major delivery this week. Though COVID-19 meant we had to cancel our annual Formalwear Sale that benefits Dress for Success, the team improvised in the best way, delivering the community’s donations to residents at the Hoboken Housing Authority.

Huge shout out to all who donated, the businesses that accepted donations, @cubesmart_selfstorage for letting us store the donations free of charge for a few months, and everyone who helped or donated their time to this worthy cause!

Former Hoboken Girl of the Week Makes a Splash on NBC’s Titan Games

courtney roselle
Readers might remember Jersey City’s Courtney Roselle, a Hoboken Girl of the Week who is the mastermind behind Iron Grace Fitness, and more than a coach, but also a competitor and motivational speaker.
Roselle is putting that competitive spirit to the test on season two of NBC’s Titan Games, which premiered on May 25th. Hosted by The Rock it’s a sports show in a time when sports are sorely lacking. Roselle has had an impressive run (no spoilers here) and even got some kudos from Dwayne Johnson himself. The championship episode airs on NBC on August 10th so be sure to check it out!

Judge Rules in Favor of Jersey City in Kushner Companies Saga

The latest development in the ongoing battle between Jersey City and Kushner Companies over a symbolic site on Journal Square went the city’s way this week. tapinto.net reported that a superior court ruled that the City of Jersey City does not have to correct deficiencies in 25 of more than 18,000 emails Kushner Companies requested as part of a lawsuit filed against the city.

Kushner Companies claims that the city’s refusal to give necessary financing and permits to the One Journal is a politically motivated move {Jared Kushner is President Donald J. Trump’s son-in-law}. Unlike Jersey City’s thriving downtown scene, the site in question has been in decline for a number of years. Mayor Steven M. Fulop initially favored Kushner’s $825 million project to revitalize the site. The city later denied the abatement, saying Kushner Companies failed to acquire the necessary financing.

A lawsuit followed, including Kushner Companies’ most recent push to have access to information redacted in 25 emails. The most recent push was denied however the battle may still be far from over.

Shaka Bowl is Back + On Wheels

shaka bowl hoboken girl

Shaka Bowl announced the return of some normalcy to its 720 Monroe Street location in Hoboken this week. The eatery is now open Monday-Friday 9AM-8PM, and Saturday & Sunday 8AM-6PM. In another exciting development, the Shaka Cart {complete with plexi-glass for safety} is back on the move in August. The cart will be all around the Mile Square this month, and they’re not ruling out a trip to Jersey City. If you want to see the cart at your local park, event, or social gathering email Shaka Bowl and let them know!

Hoboken Launches Vision Zero Website, Invites Public Feedback

pedestrian decoy

Hoboken residents, the city wants to hear your opinion on traffic safety initiatives. This week, Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced the launch of Hoboken’s official Vision Zero project website. The site includes an opportunity for residents to give feedback on areas where traffic safety can be improved.

“Hoboken is committed to eliminating all traffic related injuries and fatalities, and our new website will help us solicit public feedback as we work towards this goal,” Mayor Bhalla said in a statement. “I invite all residents to fill out the survey and let us know which areas Hoboken should focus on for traffic safety improvements. Working together, we will make Hoboken an even safer place for our families and children.” 

 The website, www.vzhoboken.com, features multiple ways for members of the community to remotely engage with Hoboken’s Vision Zero project. There’s a public survey, an interactive feedback map, two community toolkits, and the ability to sign up for project updates. The survey and map, located under the “Public Input” tab on the website, are accepting responses through August 31st.  

For project updates, visit the project website (vzhoboken.com) or follow along on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube) at the handle @VZHoboken. 

Hoboken Basketball Courts Named for School Employee Lost to COVID

In a touching tribute to a beloved Hoboken Public School employee, the city announced and unveiled the Gary White Court at Church Square Park. White, a black seal boiler engineer with the district since 1976, lost his battle with COVID-19 in April. The school district announced his passing its Twitter feed.

In recognition of the tribute, Councilman Ruben Ramos said in a Facebook post, “We may have lost Gary to COVID but his spirit, impact and love for Hoboken will carry on!”

CoolVines to Open Washing Street Location in Hoboken

hoboken police liquore wine stores 2019

A local upscale wine shop, CoolVines, is set to take up residence at 211 Washington Street at the end of this year. The space, located between 2nd and 3rd streets, was formerly occupied by Washington Liquors. Mark Censits, founder and president of CoolVines, told Jersey Digs, “From the moment we opened the Jersey City store, I had just felt like we had found our market.”

Censits is referring to the wine shop’s recent migration to more urban areas. CoolVines originated with a shop near Princeton University and then opened another location in Westfield in Union County. Both locations have since closed. There are currently two CoolVines stores in Jersey City and one in Newark.

Got a news tip? Let us know — email us at hello@hobokengirl.com! We appreciate it.

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Written by:

Born and raised on the Jersey Shore, Alena visited Hoboken {her parents’ hometown} regularly as a little girl and has always had a soft spot for the Mile Square. With family roots in the town’s fire department, she has been a proud resident of our fair city since attending graduate school at The New School in NYC. Alena began her career as a beat reporter at a small newspaper, before finding her groove as a development professional in the non-profit field. She has a passion for helping others, a penchant for writing, and is excited to get back to her journalism roots. When she’s not raising funds or following up on a scoop, Alena is practicing yoga, listening avidly to true crime podcasts, reading a great book, gallivanting with friends, and missing Schitt’s Creek.